Two German police officers were shot dead Monday after pulling over a car during a routine traffic stop, prompting police to launch a major manhunt.
The shooting happened at around 4:20 am in the Kusel district of western Rhineland-Palatinate state during a routine patrol.
A 24-year-old female police officer and her 29-year-old male colleague were killed.
“We are urgently searching for the fugitive perpetrators,” regional police said in a statement.
“At least one of the suspects is armed,” they warned, urging residents not to pick up hitchhikers.
The police said they had no description of the vehicle and did not know the direction in which the suspects had fled.
Kaiserslautern city police said they had extended their search area to the neighbouring state of Saarland.
“Please do not pick up any hitchhikers in the Kusel district!” they tweeted.
Germany’s GdP police union expressed its “deep shock and sadness” over the shooting.
“Our thoughts are with the relatives and loved ones of the colleagues who died as a result of an act of violence in the line of duty,” GdP deputy chief Joerg Radek said.